Letter: Take time out for patients June 12

National Time Out Day will be practiced in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers around the country on June 12. Taking a “time out” before operative and other invasive procedures is a requirement of the Joint Commission Universal Protocol to prevent wrong site, wrong procedure surgery. Despite this requirement, the Joint Commission estimates that wrong site surgeries occur up to 40 times per week.

To support the protocol and build greater awareness among surgical team members, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) launched the National Time Out Day initiative. The initiative’s goal is to prevent errors by ensuring that all members of the surgical team pause before all invasive procedures so they can communicate as a group and confirm key information about the patient and the procedure.

The surgical teams at East Jefferson General Hospital, Louisiana’s first magnet hospital, perform a “time out’ before every operative and other invasive procedure to ensure patient safety. Wrong patient, wrong site and wrong procedure surgeries are tragedies.

As a perioperative nurse and a member of AORN, I am committed to helping reduce surgical error and improve patient outcomes by taking a time out for every patient, every time.

Surgical teams and patients need your help. Please take a few minutes on June 12 to recognize this important effort led by perioperative registered nurses to improve patient safety and reduce unnecessary health-care costs.

Recognition of National Time Out Day on June 12 will bring awareness to this important patient safety issue and can help to improve surgical outcomes in Louisiana and nationwide.

Nathalie Walker, RN,
certified nurse, operating room

Metairie